Discover the Enchanting Beauty of Animasola Island in San Pascual, Masbate - The Filipino Rambler


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Sunday, June 2, 2024

Discover the Enchanting Beauty of Animasola Island in San Pascual, Masbate

I was recently invited to San Pascual, Masbate for the launching of their new Tourism Campaign called Soul Searching San Pascual. It's my second time to be here. The first time I was here was last 2017. I was eager to be back to revisit its captivating islands and to join the activities of Isla Rancho Festival. On our second day in San Pascual, we had an island hopping and part of that is a visit to Animasola Island.

Animasola Island is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Located in the municipality of San Pascual in Masbate, this enchanting island boasts breathtaking natural beauty and an air of mystery that captivates every visitor. Whether you're an adventure seeker or simply looking for a serene getaway, Animasola Island offers an unforgettable experience. Dive into its crystal-clear waters, explore its unique rock formations, and bask in the solitude of this magnificent island. 

It was fun to visit here for the second time because we had the whole island for ourselves! The first time I was here, it was too crowded. I remember it was long weekend that time and Burias Island was really in its peak so there were a lot of guests. I recommend going here on a weekday and on a clear weather to appreciate its beauty more.


Stunning Rock Formations

Animasola Island Rock Formations

Animasola, which translates to "lonely soul," lives up to its name with stunning limestone cliffs and rock formations that create an otherworldly landscape. These formations, carved by centuries of wind and waves, are perfect for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The island’s dramatic cliffs provide a striking contrast to the blue-green waters, making it a picturesque destination for anyone looking to capture nature’s raw beauty.

Animasola Island Rock Formations

These stunning rock formations are jaw-dropping!

Looking at the these stunning rock formations felt like we were on another multiverse. Like, how was this formed? I know there's science behind it and I couldn't help to have my jaw dropped in amazement.

Crystal Clear Waters

Crystal clear waters at Animasola Island

The island is surrounded by turquoise waters so clear that you can see the vibrant marine life beneath. It’s an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The underwater world around Animasola is teeming with colorful fish and coral reefs. Snorkelers and divers will be delighted with the visibility and the diverse marine ecosystem. 

Secluded Beaches

If you're looking for tranquility, Animasola offers pristine, white sandy beaches where you can relax and soak up the sun. The untouched beauty of these beaches provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Imagine lounging on a beach with powdery white sand, listening to the gentle waves lapping at the shore, and not a soul in sight – pure bliss!

The Mermaid's Lair at Animasola Island

During this visit, I also found out that there's an area here called the Mermaid's Lair. It's an enclosure made by sedimentary rocks. During low tide, it is just waist-deep and so we had fun wading in its refreshing waters and lounging here was sort of like our down time from all the walking and exploring we did in the island. Some locals say this area is enchanted. There had been sightings of mermaid in this place, they claim. 


Getting There

Reaching Animasola Island requires a bit of an adventure, but the journey is part of the experience. Here’s how you can get there:

Fly to Masbate City: The easiest way to reach Masbate is by flying from Manila. Several airlines offer regular flights, and the trip takes about an hour.  Cebu Pacific Air has daily flights from Manila to Masbate.

Land Trip to San Pascual: From Masbate City, you’ll need to travel by land to the port of San Pascual. You can hire a van or take a bus. The journey takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on the road conditions. Another option is to ride a bus from Manila going to San Andres, Quezon Province. From San Andres Port, inquire about boat rental to Burias Island.

Boat Ride to Animasola: Once you reach San Pascual, you’ll need to arrange for a boat to take you to Animasola Island. The boat ride is roughly an hour long, depending on the weather and sea conditions. Make sure to arrange this in advance, as boat trips are subject to availability and weather conditions. 

I suggest you manage your time as you will endure long hours if you choose the van/bus and boat route. The land trip from Manila can be around 5 hours to San Andres Port in Quezon Province, plus another 2-3-hour boat ride going to the island. Believe me, my whole body ached after this long trip.

Practical Tips for Your Visit

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Animasola Island is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant, and the seas are calmer, making the journey more enjoyable. The dry season also ensures better visibility for snorkeling and diving.

What to Pack

Given that Animasola Island is relatively undeveloped, it’s essential to come prepared. Here are some must-bring items:

  • Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. The island has limited shade, so it’s crucial to be well-prepared. Wear rash guards and leggings, too. I wasn't even 5 minutes in the water and felt insects (nik-nik) biting me already. 
  • Water and Snacks: There are no stores or facilities on the island, so bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized.
  • Snorkeling Gear: If you plan on snorkeling, it’s a good idea to bring your own gear. While some tour operators may provide equipment, having your own ensures a better fit and comfort.
  • First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with you, including any personal medications you might need.

Respecting Nature

Animasola Island’s charm lies in its untouched beauty, and it’s crucial to help preserve this. Here are some tips to ensure your visit is eco-friendly:

  • Leave No Trace: Make sure to bring all your trash back with you. There are no disposal facilities on the island, so it’s essential to leave it as pristine as you found it.
  • Avoid Touching Marine Life: When snorkeling or diving, avoid touching the coral reefs and marine life. Corals are fragile and can be easily damaged.
  • Respect Local Wildlife: Animasola is home to various wildlife. Maintain a respectful distance and avoid disturbing the animals.

Exploring Nearby Attractions

If you have extra time, consider exploring other attractions in the area. Masbate province offers several beautiful destinations worth visiting:

  • Tinalisayan Island: Famous for its long sandbar and turquoise waters, Tinalisayan is a great spot for swimming and relaxing.
  • Sombrero Island: Named after its hat-like shape, Sombrero Island boasts beautiful coral reefs and is ideal for diving.
  • San Pascual Baylon Church: If you have an extra time, drop by the town and visit this century-old church.

Final Words

Animasola Island in San Pascual, Masbate, is a true hidden gem. Its dramatic rock formations, crystal-clear waters, and secluded beaches offer a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or someone looking for a peaceful retreat or doing some soul searching, Animasola has something for everyone. The journey to this remote island might be challenging, but the reward is a slice of paradise that few have the chance to experience. So, pack your bags, prepare for an adventure, and discover the enchanting beauty of Animasola Island.

Remember, the best way to enjoy this natural wonder is to leave it as beautiful as you found it. Happy travels!

Huge shout out to Mayor Saki Lazaro of San Pascual, Masbate; San Pascual Tourism Culture and Arts Office headed by Miss Cecile Divino, Altaza Resort and the LGU Staff and people of San Pascual, Masbate for the warm welcome and hospitality.

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